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The Shrillification of the Moderates

I’m fascinated by the outpouring of moderates’ conversion narratives, from balanced and temperate to, um, shrill. JMM started it:

As Americans I think we need to grapple with what’s happened.  And it goes beyond President Bush.  He did after all win reelection.He marginally expanded his congressional majorities. In the rough andtumble of the political moment, the fight needs to be taken to thepresident and his party. But we also need a more probing considerationof the forces that have made all this possible.

In any case, this is all a way of saying that in this all-or-nothingcrisis the country has been passing through, I think it’s made sense toline up with those who say, No. I guess I’m one of those partisanizedmoderates Kevin Drum has spoken of (not sure that’s precisely thephrase he used.) That leads to a certain loss of nuance sometimes incommentary and a loss in the variegation of our politics generally. Asa writer, often it’s less satisfying.

But I cannot see looking back on all this, the threat the country is under, and saying, I stood aloof. 

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